Did you know that ophiophobia (fear of snakes) is one of the most common phobias in adult humans? Yeah, we pulled that off of Wikipedia so it has to be true. That being said, a snake isn’t exactly the friendliest animal on the planet, with many types being extremely venomous. Most of us probably feel it’s a pretty easy choice to choose between a puppy and snake when it comes to having a pet at home. Still, the snake is a beautiful reptile and an excellent photography subject.
Here are a few cool facts about snakes that might be new to you:
- snakes don’t have eyelids
- snakes can be as small as a few inches (thread snake) to over 20 feet (python) in length
- a snake’s tongue is used for smelling
- all snakes are carnivorous
- their flexible jaw allows them to eat animals bigger than their head
Here are a few ideas to help you take better pictures of snakes as well as 25 interesting images that photographers captured.
Eye contact. Taking a photo of a snake looking straight at your lens will have a better chance at grabbing more attention to your image. You may have to be patient or position yourself in the right spot to capture the right moment, but it’ll be worth it. Ultimately the composition of the image doesn’t just rely on getting eye contact, but it’s an important aspect of wildlife photography that many photographers take very seriously.
Use a zoom lens. Snakes, especially poisonous ones, might not be the best animals to get close to. There are definitely times to bring out the wide angle lens, possibly in an environment like a reptile rescue where you or someone else has the chance to hold one in a controlled situation. But a snake might get spooked easily or worst case attack when out in the wild. Grabbing a zoom lens like the Canon 70-200mm will help you shoot a tight composition without scaring the snake or putting yourself in harms way if it’s one that might be a little more aggressive.
Learn more about the snake you’re photographing. If you plan on adding a number of pictures of snakes to your portfolio, this is a perfect chance to increase your knowledge of these beautiful, cold-blooded animals that you’re interacting with. From just understanding the type of snake to learning interesting facts about these cool reptiles will help you become more than just a person with a camera.
Steve Jurvetson – Cyclops